Genetic Testing
for Veterans

Use DNA to Get the Right Prescription Drugs

Sanford Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are teaming up to serve those who have served. We’re offering free genetic testing to current and past U.S. military service members who are current VA health care system patients.

We want you to have access to appropriate medicines for a number of common health care concerns, including pain, depression, anxiety, and anticoagulation.

Why genetic testing?

Everyone responds to medications differently. Sometimes these differences are genetic.

The type of genetic testing we’re offering is called pharmacogenetics, or PGx. This uses your DNA to help your doctor determine prescription drugs that will work better for you. You save time by knowing the right drug at the right dose, and you can limit side effects.

Who can get tested?

The genetic testing program launches this year at a pilot site in Durham, North Carolina. We will initially enroll cancer survivors and intend to expand to 250,000 U.S. veterans at 125 sites by 2022.

What will this cost?

This program comes at no cost for veterans or taxpayers due to a $25 million gift from philanthropist Denny Sanford and a matching fundraising effort from Sanford Health.

What is the PHASeR program?

Pharmacogenomics Action for Cancer Survivorship (PHASeR) is a pharmacogenetics testing program for VA patients.

Why is PHASeR focused on patients with a history of cancer?

As more and more veterans survive cancer, their medication needs go beyond their cancer treatment.  VA physicians hope to bring even more personalization to cancer survivorship plans for patients with pharmacogenetic testing.

Veterans, you’ve looked out for us. Let us look out for you and your health.

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Learn More

Why Get Tested & What It’s Like

Hear from a veteran about his decision to get pharmacogenetic testing at Sanford Health and an internal medicine provider about why she recommends testing for her patients.

What is Pharmacogenetics?

Do you know what medications are most effective for your body based on your genetic makeup? Pharmacogenetics can help. Watch and learn the basics of this part of genetic medicine.

What to Expect When You Get Tested

To get tested:

  1. Ask your VA doctor to order your free genetic test. Initially, this program is only offered in Durham, NC with additional sites added over time.
  2. Complete a simple blood draw at a VA facility laboratory.
  3. The lab sends the blood sample to a lab at Sanford Health’s Imagenetics facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to be processed.

Once you get the results, we securely discard your sample.

How to Use Your Results

When we get your results, we will return them to your VA doctor. The results will become part of your electronic medical record for future reference. Your doctor will work with you on a plan to find more effective medications for your health.

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